Chinese AI start-up Megvii files for Hong Kong IPO of at least $500 million

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese artificial intelligence provider Megvii Technology Ltd, backed by Alibaba, has filed for an IPO of at least $500 million in Hong Kong, two people said, coming at a time of political unrest in the city and potential first recession in a decade.

Megvii, widely known for its facial recognition platform Face++, may raise as much as $1 billion in the planned initial public offering, said one of the people, who expected the deal to take place in the fourth quarter of the year.

The Beijing-based firm is moving ahead with its planned float while some other companies have postponed or slowed down their listing plans due to the lack of financial and political stability in Hong Kong.

Reuters reported last week that China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, also a big shareholder of Megvii, had delayed its up to $15 billion listing in Hong Kong.

The city is on the verge of its first recession in a decade as nearly three months of frequently violent anti-government protests have plunged the city into turmoil, with the benchmark Hang Seng share price index falling to seven-month lows in mid-August.

Megvii declined to comment. The people declined to be identified as the information was not public yet.

Reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by Christopher CushingOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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